Can I Get a Coronavirus Refund from Travel Insurance?

New York Lawyer Explains

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Understanding New York Law: NYC Contract Lawyer Explains Issues with a Coronavirus Refund from Travel Insurance

The coronavirus is a worldwide epidemic infecting almost 470,000 people worldwide and almost 66,000 in just the United States. Right here in New York the coronavirus is the worst out of any other state almost ten-fold. The next highest state is New Jersey, which shares many of our workers in New York City. The hardest hit part of the country is right here in the New York City metro area of NYC, Westchester, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and northern New Jersey. One of our biggest industries hit is the airline industry, as we have some of the largest airports in the United States here. One common question is whether individuals can a get coronavirus refund from travel insurance?

The answer is: maybe.

This is because travel insurance is wrapped in thick legalese and lingo. Some travel insurance allows for cancellations of any kind for any reason. However, other travel insurance only covers for specific reasons that completely block travel and make it impossible to happen. Our NYC contract lawyer explains some scenarios:

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Most Travel Insurance Companies Have Declared the Coronavirus “Foreseen” and Won’t Pay Benefits
The least helpful situation for travelers is exactly what some insurance companies are doing. They are limiting or denying travel insurance because they declared the coronavirus “foreseen” and therefore travelers consented to it. It appears that most airline tickets booked after January 22, 2020 will fall into this category. It is questionable whether tickets prior to that will count.

If tickets were purchased long ago, such as in the summer of last year, it is more likely that a travel refund would occur. The closer the airline tickets or travel plans were purchased to January 22, 2020, then less likely that a traveler will get a full refund—or any refund—from travel insurance.

Some Travel Insurance Companies Have Placed Stipulations or Conditions
Some companies may give a coronavirus refund from travel insurance if certain conditions apply. For instance, emergency medical care and emergency transportation while on vacation already or if trapped in a country and cannot get home may be covered by travel insurance.

Another condition is whether a trip is canceled because you become infected with and sick from the coronavirus before your trip. Finally, another condition is if a trip is interrupted because of the coronavirus such as if you become ill during a trip or if a country you are going to or travel in closes its borders and sends you home. Good examples could be Italy, China, and South Korea which should automatically issue refunds.

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What If I Have Cancel for Any Reason Insurance?

If you think that you may have this type of insurance, you would have paid a higher premium for it. If you are not sure that you have it, then you probably do not. This insurance allows you to cancel your trip or flight for any reason at all. You will be reimbursed a percentage of the money that you lose on the trip from what is not reimbursed by third-parties. This could range between 50% to 100%, but is typically around 75%; it depends how much of a premium you paid and the terms of your agreement.

If you did not already get this insurance, you likely cannot add it on to your trip now. And if you did, the coronavirus would likely be classified as a “foreseen event” and you would not be allowed to cancel it for any reason without paying a massive premium which may not make the insurance feasible.

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Questions on a Coronavirus Refund from Travel Insurance? Ask Our NYC Contract Lawyer

If you have travel insurance and the carrier is already giving you a hard time, get our legal team on your side to fight back. Call us at 646-663-4228 or send us an email at for a free consultation to learn what your rights to reimbursement may be
We handle cases throughout New York, especially in New York City and Northern New Jersey and are willing to review our case to learn whether we can help protect your rights under New York law.

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